A Developmental Screening Program in Primary Health Care: Meeting the Challenges of Children in Low-income Families

Dunbar-Smalley, Sandra
Reed, Carol Niman
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Early identification of developmental variances among young children is important for securing adequate intervention in a timely manner During the lost decade, mandated programs have increased the availability of early intervention services. Although early intervention services have increased, many children with mild developmental and behavioral problems are still undetected or do not get referred to an early intervention program until the problems increase. Initial visits to a primary-care center are often the first opportunity for professionals to assess the developmental status of young children. This is an ideal opportunity for screening, parent education, and direct intervention. The following article describes a program designed to provide early identification of developmental and behavioral problems of children who are at risk because of poverty. The three-tier approach provides general observations of child behaviors, a structured play group, and developmental screening and/or formal assessment. Program outcomes and implications are discussed also.
Dunbar, S. B., & Reed, C. N. (1999). A developmental screening program in primary health care: Meeting the challenges of children in low-income families. Infant-Toddler Intervention, 9(2), 195-202.